Daily Grind Getting You Down? Make Yourself Happier And More Productive At Work With These Simple Tips

Employee Wellness is crucial for productivity. Katie Sola gives some tips and tricks for your daily routine to have a happier self. See the article below from Forbes.com.

Eat a lot more fruit and vegetables: Eight servings, to be exact

You know fruit and veg are healthy, but did you know they can make you happier than a major positive life event like a promotion or a major raise? Scientists at the University of Warwick, Great Britain and the University of Queensland, Australia followed more than 12,000 randomly selected people for two years. They found that people who switched from eating few fruit and vegetables to eating eight servings a day experienced a spike in well-being equivalent to getting a job after being unemployed.

Exercise before work

It’s common knowledge that exercise makes you happier and more productive, but to gain the greatest benefits, you should work out before or during the workday. Researchers at the University of Bristol, Great Britain, found that office workers are most productive on the days they exercise.

“Critically, workers performed significantly better on exercise days and across all three areas we measured, known as mental-interpersonal, output and time demands,” research associate Jo Coulson said in a statement.

Watch a funny video and have a snack during the workday

Scientists at the University of Warwick, Great Britain found that watching comedic clips and eating chocolate and fruit made workers happier, and boosted their productivity by 12 percent. It worked in a laboratory setting, so it may well work in your office too.

Keep your commute as short as possible

Long commutes sap your happiness more than you think.

“Every ten minutes of commuting results in ten per cent fewer social connections. Commuting is connected to social isolation, which causes unhappiness,” Robert Putnam told the New Yorker in 2007. He’s a Harvard political scientist and the author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.

See the full article Here.

Source:

Sola, K. (2016, July 28). Daily grind getting you down? Make yourself happier and more productive at work with these simple tips [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/levelup/2016/07/28/daily-grind-getting-you-down-make-yourself-happier-and-more-productive-at-work-with-these-simple-tips/#14c8a80b31f5


’Tis the Season for a Slice of Wellness Training

Originally posted November 29, 2013 by Chris Kilbourne on http://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com

At the beginning of this year's holiday season, take a moment to remind your employees that good nutrition is important to good health. Use the video in today's Advisor as a concise and fun way to drop nutrition reminders in among the holiday festivities.

In order to get the nutrition they need every day to stay healthy, employees must develop and maintain healthy eating habits. Here's a video that takes a light-hearted approach toward providing facts about nutrition and the important employee wellness topic of having healthy eating habits.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv66ItR_F24&feature=player_embedded

I'm sure you’ve heard that good nutrition is important to good health. But how?

Well, good nutrition helps you in many important ways. For example, eating healthy food helps to prevent diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight.

In order to get the nutrition you need every day to stay healthy, you must develop and maintain healthy eating habits. Unfortunately, many Americans have very unhealthy eating habits.

Healthy eating means eating three nutritious meals a day, consuming reasonable portion sizes, limiting intake of fat, sugar, and salt, snacking sensibly between meals, avoiding fad diets, and balancing calorie intake with physical activity.

Proper nutrition depends on a well-balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and some unsaturated fat. Carbohydrates give your body the energy it needs to function effectively all day. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, bread, cereal, pasta, rice, and milk and milk products. In fact, 45 percent to 65 percent of your daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrates. You also need about 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories you eat. Protein is another essential nutrient, and you should get 10 percent to 35 percent of daily calories from proteins.

Most Americans eat more protein than they really need to stay healthy. Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, milk and milk products, grains, and some vegetables and fruits.

Some protein-rich foods such as meat are also high in fat and cholesterol. To keep healthy, you should consume less than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake as fat. Most of your fat intake should be unsaturated, as opposed to saturated, fat. Saturated fat is found in foods such as high-fat cheese, high-fat meat, butter, and ice cream.

Nuts, vegetable oil, and fish are good sources of poly- and monounsaturated fats.

Health experts also say you should consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day. Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in animal-based foods such as meat, eggs, and whole milk.

Sugar is found naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and milk and milk products. Some foods include added sugar, and these foods are less nutritious than foods containing only natural sugar. To keep healthy, try to avoid added sugar, which provides no nutritional value and also contributes to tooth decay.

Also, remember that fluids, vitamins, and minerals are part of good nutrition, too. You need about eight glasses of water or other low-sugar fluids a day.

Finally, even though you've got a lot of great choices here in your fridge, I'm sure you eat out sometimes. When you do, remember to make healthy choices. Restaurant or takeout food can be high in fat, sugar, and salt, and low in required nutrients. When you eat food prepared outside your home, try to pick lower-fat foods, choose smaller portions, go broiled or baked instead of fried, order a vegetables or salad, and skip dessert.

For more information on nutrition, visit www.blr.com. Here you’ll find lots of information on wellness. BLR® specializes in employee training, so be sure to check out all of their employee wellness training resources as well as other training topics.

Why It Matters

  • Giving your employees nutrition information can help keep them healthy and on the job.
  • Healthy employees will cut down on your sick leave costs and your healthcare insurance expenses.
  • Healthy employees who are eating the right balance of nutritious foods are more likely to be more productive as well.
  • The bottom line is that a healthy amount of wellness training can provide a healthy return on investment for your organization.

 

 


Nuts for longevity: Daily handful is linked to longer life

Originally published November 21, 2013 by Allison Aubrey on http://www.npr.org

Nuts might be loaded with fat but evidence suggests they could help you live longer. A diet study found earlier this year that a diet with daily portions of nuts and olive oil reduced the risks of heart attacks and strokes. Recent evidence found that nuts can help control appetite, which could reduce weight gain.

Americans have not always been in love with nuts.

Think about it: They're loaded with calories and fat. Plus, they can be expensive.

But Americans' views — and eating habits — when it comes to nuts are changing. Fast.

There's a growing body of scientific evidence that's putting a health halo over supermarkets' expanding nut aisles.

Earlier this year, a large diet study concluded that people who eat a Mediterranean-style diet supplemented with daily portions of nuts and olive oil have significantly lower risks of heart attacks and strokes.

And just last month, more evidence emerged that snacking on nuts helps control our appetites, which may stave off weight gain.

Now, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that people in the habit of eating a daily handful (a 1-ounce serving) of nuts are more likely to live longer compared with people who rarely consume nuts.

"The preponderance of evidence suggests a health benefit [from eating nuts]," says researcher Charles Fuchs of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

To isolate the association between nut consumption and lifespan, Fuchs and his colleagues combined data from two long-term studies that include about 76,000 women and 42,000 men.

The participants in the study completed food frequency surveys every two to four years over several decades. They answered all kinds of questions about dozens of different kinds of foods, including how many servings of nuts they consumed.

"What we find is that regular nut consumers have about a 20 percent reduction in all-cause mortality" over the course of the study, Fuchs says. This includes lower death rates from heart disease and cancer.

Now, since death is inevitable for all of us, here's another way to think about the findings: Men and women who were regularly munching on peanuts or tree nuts like almonds, pecans and walnuts in their 30s and 40s when the study began were significantly more likely to reach their 70s, compared with folks who didn't eat nuts.

So how could a daily handful of nuts possibly be so beneficial? Fuchs says it's not entirely clear.

"What we think nuts do is that they affect metabolism," he explains. Prior research has shown that nuts help us feel fuller, faster. And nuts also help control blood sugar.

Fuchs says if nuts lead to a sense of satiety and help people eat less, many of the other benefits may follow. This could "reduce the risk of diabetes and also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease," he says.

Of course, this study does not prove a cause and effect between eating nuts and living longer. The design of this type of long-term, observational study only enables researchers to establish an association — a link.

Going forward, researchers want to try to better understand what might explain this link. They want to know more about how the combination of beneficial plant compounds and minerals — such as magnesium, fiber and protein — found in nuts may be influencing the body.

With all the good news about nuts in the news, experts who track food trends say more Americans are eating them.

"Nuts are in the perfect spot right now," says John Frank of Mintel. The market research firm estimates that sales of nuts and dried fruit in the U.S. will grow from about $7 billion in annual sales in 2012 to over $9 billion by 2017.

Nuts check a lot of boxes that young adults are looking for: They're high in protein, they're easy to grab and eat on the go, and they're a natural, plant-based food.

"I'm a vegetarian, so nuts are an important part of my diet, for added protein," shopper Emily Williams told me as she added nuts to her shopping cart at a Trader Joe's in Washington, D.C.

Many grocery stores' expanding nut aisles now include lots of variety — everything from dark-chocolate-covered almonds to spicy, Asian-flavor-infused nuts.

And Frank says millennials love the variety. Young adults aren't just snacking on nuts — increasingly, they're tossing them in salads and sprinkling them in yogurt and cereal.

One note about the NEJM study on nuts: The major part of the study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers also accepted a grant from the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation to cover the cost of analyzing the data.

"The [nut] council approved the grant without any knowledge of the results," says Fuchs. And there was an agreement that the researchers would have reported the findings no matter what the results showed.


The Evil Presence that Lurks in the Workplace at Halloween

Originally posted by Denise Rand on http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com

Halloween can be a very scary time of the year for HR pros! An evil presence is out to kill the efforts being put into company wellness programs—Halloween candy. Yes, it seems like Halloween becomes the end of year "kickoff party" for calorie-, sugar-, and fat-filled holiday celebrations in workplaces, sabotaging companies’ health efforts.

And besides candy, it’s a safe bet there will be plenty of orange-colored cakes, cupcakes, donuts, and even orange bagels within easy reach. However, there are some proactive steps the HR department can take to keep your employees from falling victim to a sugar rush and extra holiday pounds.

Health experts Dian Griesel, PhD, and Tom Griesel, authors of the book The TurboCharged Mind (January 2012, BSH), offer the following tips to avoid a crash:

  • Make an office resolution to keep out of the office all the extra candy that the kids brought home or that didn’t go to the trick-or-treaters.
  • Start the day by brewing a pot of pumpkin-flavored coffee or tea. This should help get coworkers in the spirit of things.
  • Bring in a variety of fruit for morning break and colored veggies for enjoyment at lunch or afternoon break.
  • Take a lunchtime walk to see the change of foliage and get some fresh autumn air.
  • If your “office bakers” must produce Halloween treats, have them try making a gluten-free, low-, or sugar-free pumpkin pie. There are even many recipes for crust-less, no-shortening versions that make things even more healthful—and easy.

 


Top 10 Tricks for a Healthier, High-Energy Workday

Originally posted by Whitson Gordon on http://lifehacker.com

Working at an office can be surprisingly unhealthy. Between sitting all day, eating poorly, and enduring never-ending stress, your office can take a few years off your life. Here's how to stay healthy and energetic at the office (and make the day go by faster).

10. Eat Healthy, All Day Long

Ever have those days at work where you just feel exhausted and can't get anything done? There are a lot of ways to solve that problem, but the #1 fix is healthy eating (starting with breakfast). You should eat your most hearty meal in the morning, when you need the most energy, and continue eating healthily throughout the day to avoid crashes during your productive time. Eating lunch away from your desk can help, too. 

9. Set Up a More Ergonomic Workspace

It may not seem like it, but sitting at your desk all day can wreak havoc with your wrists, back, neck, and other body parts if done improperly. Thankfully, it's really easy to set up an ergonomic workspace, without spending a ton of money. Most of it is practicing good posture and positioning your keyboard and mouse properly, though a good office chair is a good investment.

8. Get Up and Move

Having an ergonomic workspace isn't enough, though—all that sitting is still killing you. So, to keep yourself healthy and really avoid RSI injury, it's important to take frequent breaks. All you need is five minutes every once in awhile—in fact, we've created a schedule template that'll make sure you get enough time away from your workspace. If you really want to get out of that chair, a standing desk can be a really great solution too—many people, including Lifehacker's own founding editor Gina Trapani, swear by it.

7. Avoid Eyestrain at Your Computer

Ever get eye pain or headaches at the end of the day, but aren't really sure why? It's probably from staring at that computer all day. The aforementioned breaks can help combat eyestrain quite a bit, but a few of us at Lifehacker have also found that computer-oriented glasses likeGunnars can make a big difference, too.

6. Be Friends with Your Coworkers

Coworkers can be distracting and annoying, but being friends with them can actually make work a lot less stressful. In fact, one study even found that people who were friendly with their coworkers actually lived longer. Even if we're just talking productivity, knowing which coworkers will help you in a bind is incredibly useful, and easy to do with a single email. As long as you keep yourself from getting distracted, office friends can actually be good for your productivity and health.

5. Fit More Exercise Into Your Schedule

Getting regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy and keep your energy level up, but getting regular exercise with a demanding job is tough. This 20-minute exercise plan is a good starting point, though you can also work small bouts of exercise into your day without a full "workout." Working out at work is possiblebut tough, so it's up to you to try things out and see what works.

4. Cultivate Personal Rituals that Keep You Sane

It may seem silly, but little personal rituals during the day—whether it's a relaxing afternoon cup of tea or kicking back with the funnies—can really improve your mental and physical health. So don't neglect them! You should already be taking a few breaks during the day (see tip #8), so use them to your advantage. Having a good daily routine can go a long way. .

3. Get Better Sleep (or Sneak In a Nap)

You already know lack of sleep is bad for your work and health, but few of us actually do something about it. Well, it's time. Try sneaking in a nap at work if you can't force yourself to get enough sleep at night. Even a short power nap can keep you productive and creative. Justmake sure your nap isn't too short (or too long) and you'll be on your way to a more productive workday.

2. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Working yourself to the bone can create stress and really weigh on your health. If you're a regular reader of Lifehacker, you know our main philosophy is to work smart, not hard: that means using your time efficientlydoing your most important work during your body's high-energy hours, and avoiding the "cult of busy." The smarter you work, the less time you have to spend stressing out over everything you have to do.

1. Go Home

Building off the above: more hours does not equal more work. Ask yourself: how many hours do you work a week? Most research shows that if it's over 40 hours, you're hurting your productivity, your health, and your income (since you're working fewer hours for the same pay). The key? Stop working and go home at night. It's more challenging than it sounds, but it's well worth it.

 


Red-meat eaters increase risk of diabetes with more portions

Originally posted by Nicole Ostraw on http://ebn.benefitnews.com

(Bloomberg) -- Eating more red meat over time raises the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, while cutting back reduces the danger, research shows.

Consuming an additional half-serving a day of red meat during a four-year period increased a person’s chance of developing diabetes by 48% in the subsequent four years, according to a study this month in JAMA Internal Medicine. Reducing red meat consumption lowered diabetes risk long term, says lead study author An Pan.

The study is the first to look at changes in red meat consumption over time and how that affects diabetes risk, Pan says. The results confirm previous research that had linked red meat intake to diabetes risk and suggests that limiting the amount of beef, pork and lamb people eat is beneficial, he says.

“If possible, try to reduce red meat and replace with other healthy choices like beans and legumes, nuts, fish, poultry, whole grains, etc.,” says Pan, an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore.

The meat contains high amounts of an iron that can cause insulin resistance, which may raise the risk of diabetes, he says. The food is also high in saturated fat and cholesterol and processed forms have nitrates and high levels of sodium that may also increase the danger of developing the disease, he says.

Researchers analyzed data and followed up with 26,357 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 48,709 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and 74,077 women in the Nurses’ Health Study 2. They assessed their diets through questionnaires every four years.

There were 7,540 cases of type 2 diabetes over the study.

The research showed that reducing red meat consumption by more than a half a serving per day from the start of the trial through the first four years of follow up resulted in a 14% lower risk of diabetes over the entire time period.

In an accompanying editorial, William Evans, vice president and head of the Muscle Metabolism Discovery Performance Unit at London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc and an adjunct professor of geriatrics at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., writes that it may not be the type of meat but the fat that can raise diabetes risk.

“There’s no reason why the color of meat itself is the thing that results in an increased risk in diabetes,” he says. “The overwhelming data would tell us it’s the amount of saturated fat. A chunk of cheddar cheese has as much fat and saturated fat as a T-bone steak.”

He says another study looking to find similar links between dairy, which can be high in saturated fats, and diabetes is needed to determine if the fats are the culprits.

Saturated fats increase inflammation in the body, leading to heart disease and insulin resistance.

 


Authors expose obesity myths

Source: http://www.benefitspro.com
By Marilyn Marchione

Fact or fiction? Sex burns a lot of calories. Snacking or skipping breakfast is bad. School gym classes make a big difference in kids' weight.

All are myths or at least presumptions that may not be true, say researchers who reviewed the science behind some widely held obesity beliefs and found it lacking.

Their report in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine says dogma and fallacies are detracting from real solutions to the nation's weight problems.

"The evidence is what matters," and many feel-good ideas repeated by well-meaning health experts just don't have it, said the lead author, David Allison, a biostatistician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Independent researchers say the authors have some valid points. But many of the report's authors also have deep financial ties to food, beverage and weight-loss product makers — the disclosures take up half a page of fine print in the journal.

"It raises questions about what the purpose of this paper is" and whether it's aimed at promoting drugs, meal replacement products and bariatric surgery as solutions, said Marion Nestle, a New York University professor of nutrition and food studies.

"The big issues in weight loss are how you change the food environment in order for people to make healthy choices," such as limits on soda sizes and marketing junk food to children, she said. Some of the myths they cite are "straw men" issues, she said.

But some are pretty interesting.

Sex, for instance. Not that people do it to try to lose weight, but claims that it burns 100 to 300 calories are common, Allison said. Yet the only study that scientifically measured the energy output found that sex lasted six minutes on average — "disappointing, isn't it?" — and burned a mere 21 calories, about as much as walking, he said.

That's for a man. The study was done in 1984 and didn't measure the women's experience.

Among the other myths or assumptions the authors cite, based on their review of the most rigorous studies on each topic:

—Small changes in diet or exercise lead to large, long-term weight changes. Fact: The body adapts to changes, so small steps to cut calories don't have the same effect over time, studies suggest. At least one outside expert agrees with the authors that the "small changes" concept is based on an "oversimplified" 3,500-calorie rule, that adding or cutting that many calories alters weight by one pound.

—School gym classes have a big impact on kids' weight. Fact: Classes typically are not long, often or intense enough to make much difference.

—Losing a lot of weight quickly is worse than losing a little slowly over the long term. Fact: Although many dieters regain weight, those who lose a lot to start with often end up at a lower weight than people who drop more modest amounts.

—Snacking leads to weight gain. Fact: No high quality studies support that, the authors say.

—Regularly eating breakfast helps prevent obesity. Fact: Two studies found no effect on weight and one suggested that the effect depended on whether people were used to skipping breakfast or not.

—Setting overly ambitious goals leads to frustration and less weight loss. Fact: Some studies suggest people do better with high goals.

Some things may not have the strongest evidence for preventing obesity but are good for other reasons, such as breastfeeding and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, the authors write. And exercise helps prevent a host of health problems regardless of whether it helps a person shed weight.

"I agree with most of the points" except the authors' conclusions that meal replacement products and diet drugs work for battling obesity, said Dr. David Ludwig, a prominent obesity research with Boston Children's Hospital who has no industry ties. Most weight-loss drugs sold over the last century had to be recalled because of serious side effects, so "there's much more evidence of failure than success," he said.

 


Wellness Newsletter: Healthy Skin, Healthy Living

Glowing, spotless, wrinkle-free skin is much valued in our society. We’re willing to spend a lot for that look. It’s estimated that the skin care industry in the U.S. is worth about $43 billion per year. But healthy skin starts from the inside, not just from creams and lotions applied on the outside.

Below are three important ways to keep your skin -- and your whole body -- healthy.

1. Eat Your Way to Healthy Skin

Eating a diet rich in certain vitamins and fats may provide anti-aging effects for your skin. Let’s look at some of the best choices for skin health.

Citrus and other vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables: Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is key to the production of collagen, a protein that gives skin its firmness and strength. Vitamin C also helps create scar tissue and ligaments, and it helps your skin repair itself. Collagen breakdown, which speeds up significantly after the age of 35, can leave your skin saggy. Consuming sources of vitamin C such as oranges, grapefruits, mangos, melons, strawberries, tomatoes and broccoli may help tighten the skin and slow down the onset of wrinkles.

Orange-red fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apricots, mangos, cantaloupe and sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene, which our bodies convert into vitamin A. Vitamin A helps your skin produce more new cells and get rid of the old ones, reducing dryness. In the case of vitamin A, you also get anti-acne benefits -- vitamin A has been used in acne medications for many years. It's best to get this vitamin from food and not from supplements because too much vitamin A can cause hair loss and other health problems.

Avocados, nuts, eggs and wheat germ all provide vitamin E, which is thought to help protect your skin from sun damage. It also tends to help skin hold in moisture and relieve dryness, which makes skin look younger.

Fatty fish: Oily or fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines provide beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. (Keep in mind that “fatty” fish is always leaner than “lean” beef.) These “good fats” have received a great deal of attention for their potential in boosting heart health and reducing inflammation. Some research shows that getting too little omega-3 may contribute to skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help keep the heart's arteries clear and so improve circulation. Good circulation is key to skin health.

Remember, many of the best foods for healthy skin also promote good health overall. Rather than focusing on specific foods for healthy skin, concentrate on a healthy diet in general. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Try to eat fish or shellfish at least once a week. Include nuts, seeds and beans in your favorite meals. Opt for whole-grain breads and pasta. Strive for variety as you're making healthy choices.

2. Sun Protection Is Critical for Healthy Skin

Damage from overexposure to the sun’s radiation presents itself in several ways. A painful burn is a sure sign of short-term damage. Signs of permanent damage become apparent over time. Too much time in the sun can cause:

  • Wrinkles. The sun’s ultraviolet rays break down the connective tissue in your skin and your skin loses its elasticity.
  • Irregular pigmentation of your skin, especially on your face.
  • Dark brown spots called liver or age spots (dermatologists call them solar lentigines) that appear most often on the forehead, forearms or hands.
  • Skin cancer.

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can stop applying sunscreen for the next nine months. The American Academy of Dermatology strongly recommends applying sunscreen 365 days a year. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. A wide-brimmed hat, a tightly woven long-sleeve shirt and long pants are also good ways to protect your skin.

Do not try to maintain a summer tan with visits to the tanning salon. Indoor tanning beds are as dangerous as natural sunlight. Most tanning light bulbs emit longer-wave UV-A rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply than UV-B rays. UV-A rays significantly raise the risk of developing melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

3. Stop Smoking to Stop Damage to Your Skin

Smoking speeds up the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles. These skin changes may occur after only 10 years of smoking. The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more skin wrinkling you're likely to have -- even though the early skin damage from smoking may be hard for you to see. The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels of your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. Tobacco smoke also damages collagen, which gives your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.

 

Gingered Carrots and Oranges Makes 6 servings

The perfect complement to grilled salmon or roast chicken -- you’ll enjoy the mix of spicy, sweet and tart flavors, and your skin will appreciated the vitamin A and vitamin C.

Ingredients2 pounds peeled baby carrots1 11-oz can mandarin orange segments and juice

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup dried cranberries or tart cherries

2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

 

Preparation                                                                                             Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.Nutritional info
per serving
  133 Calories

  0.3g Fat

  0.1g Saturated fat

  2.0g Protein

  31g Carbohydrate

  5.4g Fiber

  105mg Sodium

 


Exercise Benefits Low-income Americans Most

BY KATHRYN MAYER
Source: benefitspro.com

 

Here’s at least one advantage to not having a hefty salary: Low-income Americans experience a bigger emotional payoff for exercising and eating well.

According to The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, low income people report a bigger emotional boost from frequent exercise and good eating habits than richer people do.

The Emotional Health Index score is based on Americans' self-reports of positive and negative daily emotions, as well as self-reported clinical diagnoses of depression. Findings are based on 180,299 interviews with American adults conducted between Jan. 2 and July 8.

Low-income adults who exercise three or more days per week are about seven percentage points more likely than their counterparts who exercise less than that to report experiencing happiness “a lot of the day yesterday.” Those Americans experience a bigger exercise bonus than do those with higher incomes in terms of daily smiling and laughter, enjoyment and happiness. They're also less likely to experience depression than higher income adults who exercise.

U.S. adults at all income brackets who ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables at least four days per week reported widespread emotional health benefits, the report notes. But it is particularly evident in those earning less than $36,000 per year.

 


Obese People Can Be Healthy

BY KATHRYN MAYER
Source: benefitspro.com

 

Here’s some news to justify having (and not caring about) some extra pounds: Being fat doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unhealthy.

New research finds that people can be obese yet physically healthy, while having no greater risk for heart disease or cancer than people of normal weight.

“It is well known that obesity is linked to a large number of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular problems and cancer. However, there appears to be a sub-set of obese people who seem to be protected from obesity-related metabolic complications,” lead study author Francisco Ortega said in a statement. “They may have greater cardio-respiratory fitness than other obese individuals, but, until now, it was not known the extent to which these metabolically healthy but obese people are at lower risk of diseases or premature death.”

Researchers analyzed data from 43,265 participants in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, which was done between 1979 and 2003.

About 30 percent of the study participants were labeled obese. Of the obese, nearly half were considered “metabolically healthy.” Metabolic health is determined by several factors including high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high fasting glucose levels.

Researchers found that the metabolically healthy but obese participants had a 38 percent lower risk of dying than their metabolically unhealthy peers. There was also no risk difference between the metabolically healthy obese and the metabolically healthy normal weight participants.

The results were published this week in the European Heart Journal.

"Physicians should take into consideration that not all obese people have the same prognosis,” Ortega said. “Physicians could assess fitness, fatness and metabolic markers to do a better estimation of the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer of obese patients. Our data support the idea that interventions might be more urgently needed in metabolically unhealthy and unfit obese people, since they are at a higher risk. This research highlights once again the important role of physical fitness as a health marker.”